A Systems Approach to Nitrate Removal from Groundwater Supplies

Mohamed F. Dahab
Istvan Bogardi



Nitrate concentrations in groundwater supplies in many areas have steadily increased past the standard established by the Safe Drinking Water Act. Nitrate contamination is linked to infant methemoglobinemia as well as the formation of n-nitroso compounds which are etiologic agents for gastric cancer in humans. This article discusses the feasibility of removing nitrates from groundwater supplies. Systems analysis is used to determine the best (i.e., optimal) scenarios under which one, or a combination, of several available processes can be applied. A systems methodology for selecting cost-effective nitrate treatment strategies is outlined. Nitrate removal relationships and cost of treatment functions are developed. The systems methodology is illustrated for a typical midwestern community facing nitrate contamination problems.

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